Chapter 8: Hidden Codes, Mystic Numbers

“…It was probably inevitable that with the advent of the modern computer age, some masters of the craft would turn their capabilities to a novel new goal: the search for a “secret code” in the Bible.

“…While this is presented in scientific papers and even books as the epitome of modern sophistication, the fact is that this search is actually a renewed, not a new, search, albeit with new and more advanced tools.

“…The Hebrew Bible consists of three parts:

  • Torah (“Teachings”), which comprises the Pentateuch (the Five Books of Moses) and, historically and chronologically, covers the time from Creation through the wanderings of the Exodus and the death of Moses
  • Neviyim (“Prophets”), encompassing the books of Joshua and the Judges, Samuel and the Kings, and then the major and minor Prophets, the Psalms and Proverbs and Job – historically from the Israelite settlement in Canaan through the destruction of the First Temple of Jerusalem
  • Ketuvim (“Writings”), starting with the Song of Songs through the books attributed to the two leaders who led the exiles back to Judea to rebuild the Temple (Ezra and Nehemiah) and (in the arrangement of the Hebrew Bible’s canon) ending with 1 and 2 Chronicles. All together the three parts are called by the acronym TaNaKh; and it was already in the time of Prophets that interpretive references to the first part, the Torah, were made


“…Discussions by Jewish sages and religious leaders intended to “read between the lines” of the words of the Torah, then of the Prophets, intensified during the exile after the destruction (by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar) of the First Temple, and even more so after the destruction of the Second Temple (by the Romans). The record of those deliberations is the Talmud (“The Study”). Jewish mysticism, known as the Kaballah, took over and built upon those earlier searchers for hidden meanings.

“…That such hidden meanings did exist, the Bible itself attests. The key was the alphabet, the twenty-two letters.

Mr. Sitchin, in his book, gives several examples of coded passages from the Bible, only a few examples will be given here.

“…The authenticity of certain verses in Psalms could be verified by noticing that each verse has two parts, each of which starts alphabetically (e.g., Psalm 145); the same clue is hidden in the verse arrangements of Proverbs 31. In Psalm 145, moreover, the three verses (11, 12, 13) that extol the kingship of Yahweh begin with the letters Kh-L-M, which read backward spell McLeKh, “King.”

“…The use of acrostics as a hidden code, evident in other books of the Bible as well, is also found in post-biblical books (some of which are included in the Christian arrangement of the Old Testament). A prominent example comes from the time of the revolt against Greek rule in the second century B.C. The revolt bears the name of its leaders, the Maccabees – a name which was in fact an acronym based on the verse in the Song of Moses (Exodus 15:11) -“who is like thee among the gods, oh Yahweh” – the first letters of the four Hebrew words forming the acronym M-K-B-I, pronounced “Maccabee.”

“…After the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in A.D. 70, the spiritual and religious mainstream for the Jews were the Holy Scriptures – the treasure of divine and prophetic words. Was it all fated, was it all predicted? And what is still destined, what is yet to come? The keys to the past and to the future had to be hidden in the sacred writings, by then canonized not only as to content but also as to every word and every letter. That search for hidden meanings obscured by secret codes became known after the Temple’s destruction as “entering the forbidden grove,” the word for “grove” – PaRDeS – in itself being an acronym created from the first letters of four methods of extracting the scriptures’ message: Peshat (literal meaning), Ramez (hint), Drash (interpretation) and Sod (secret).

“…Instances of encoding and encryption have been found in non-Hebrew texts from Mesopotamia, both from Babylonia and from Assyria. They included texts that begin with the warning that they are secret, to be shown only to the initiated (or, conversely, not to be revealed to the uninitiated), under penalty of death in the hands of the gods. Such texts sometimes employed decipherable encoding methods (such as acronyms), and sometimes encrypting methods that remain an enigma. Among the former is a hymn by the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal in praise of the god Marduk and Marduk’s spouse Zarpanit. It uses the cuneiform syllabic signs at the beginning of lines to spell out a hidden message to the god Marduk. Apart from the acronymic encoding the king employed a second method of encryption” The syllables that formed the secret message began on line 1, skipped line 2, used line 3, skipped line 4 and so on, skipping one line through line 9. Them the coded message, skipped two lines at a time, returning to a single line skip on line 26, returning to a two-line skip from line 36, and then back to a one-line skip through the rest of the tablet (including its reverse side).

“…In this double-encoding, the Assyrian king spelled out the following secret message to the god (we provide the translation horizontally, though the message in the tablet is read vertically, from top to bottom):

[Mr. Sitchin’s note].

A-na-ku Ah-shur-ba-an-ni-ap-li
I am Ashurbanipal
Sha il-shu bu-ul-li-ta ni-shu-ma Ma-ru-du-uk
Who to his god called give me life Marduk [and]
Da-li-leka lu-ud-lu
I will praise thee


“…The association of hidden messages and secret meaning not with words alone but with numerals and numbers was even more prominent in the writings of Sargon II, the grandfather of Ashurbanipal. During his reign (721-705 B.C.) he established a few administrative-military capital on the site of a village some twelve miles northeast of the ancient royal capital and religious center Nineveh. His Assyrian name was Sharru-kin (“Righteous King”) and he named the new city Dur Sharrukin (“Fort Sargon” – an archaeological site now known as Khorsabad). In the inscription commemorating this achievement, he wrote that the mighty wall he had built around the city was 16,283 cubits long, “which is the number of my name.”

“…Such a use of numbers to encode word-syllables appears in a text known as An Exaltation to Ishtar, where the worshipper signed his name not with letters but with numbers:

the son of 21-11-20-42


“…The key to such numerical encoding remains undeciphered. But we have reason to believe that such Mesopotamian encoding methods were known to the Hebrew Prophets.

“…One of the most difficult passages in the Bible is the prophecy of Isaiah about the time of Retribution, when “it shall come to pass that a great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall return those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were cast out of the land of Egypt, and they shall bow down to Yahweh on the Holy Mount in Jerusalem.” At that time, Isaiah prophesied, confusion shall reign and people will ask each other, “Who shall be given the understanding” of the message which was somehow been altered to hide its meaning:

For precept is upon precept,
precept is within precept;
Line is upon line,
line is with line –
A little here, somewhat there;
For with a confused
and in a strange tongue
will He address his people.


“…What language could be confused, or its written signs given a strange meaning, by changing the “order” and a “line” here and there? It is our suggestion that what the Prophet Isaiah – a contemporary of Sargon II and Sennacherib – was talking about is the cuneiform script of the Assyrians and the Babylonians!

“…Isaiah, whose prophecies were attuned to the international arena and the encryption of royal messages of his time, may have given away the very clue to the existence of a “Bible Code.” Three times he revised the word Ototh (“signs”) that is used in the Bible to denote divine or celestial signs to read Otioth – a plural of Oth that means both “sign” and “letter,” conveying the meaning of letters in his prophecy.

“…We have already mentioned the reference by Isaiah to Yahweh as the creator of the Letters (of the alphabet). In verse 45:11 [of the Book of Isaiah], the Prophet, extolling the uniqueness of Yahweh, states that it was Yahweh who “hath arrayed by letters that which shall come to pass.” And that such an arrayment was encoded ought to be the way to understand the enigmatic verse 41:23. Describing how the bewildered people of the Earth seek to divine the future from the past, Isaiah quotes them as begging God:

Tell us the letters backward!


“…Were the word the usual Ototh, it would have meant, “tell us the signs back from the beginning of things.” But the Prophet has chosen – three times – to write Otioth, “letters.” And the clear request is to be enabled to understand the divine plan by being shown the letters backward, as in a code, in which the letters have been scrambled.

“…But as the Mesopotamian examples indicate, acrostics was too simple a device, and the real encodement – still undeciphered in the case of Sargon II – relied on the numerical values of cuneiform signs. We have already mentioned the “secret of the gods” concerning their rank numbers – numbers which sometimes were written or invoked instead of the god’s names. Other tablets in which Sumerian terminology was retained even in Akkadian texts (many remaining obscure because of breaks in the tablets) point to the early use of numerology as a secret code, especially when the gods were involved.

“…Beginning in the time of the Second Temple, the numerological Gematria (when the Greeks adopted the alphabet, the art of and rules for the interpretation of letters, words or groups of words by their numerical values was given the name Gematria), became a toll in the hands of scholars as well as gnostics to pry out of the biblical verses and words untold numbers of hidden meanings or bits of information or for drawing new rules where the biblical ones were incomplete. Thus, it was held that when a man took an oath to be a Nazarite, the unspecified period of abstention should be 30 days, because the defining word YiHYeH (“shall be”) in Numbers chapter 6 has the numerical value 30. Comparing words and their implications by their numerical equivalents opened up countless possibilities for hidden meanings. As an example, it was suggested that Moses and Jacob had a similar divine experience, because the ladder to heaven (Sulam in Hebrew) that Jacob saw in the nighttime vision and the mount (Sinai) on which Moses received the Tablets of the Law had both the same numerical value, 130.

“…How much value should one attach to numerical codes or meanings – a code inherent in the letters themselves and not an arbitrary spacing between them? Because such usages lead back to Sumerian times, were valid in Akkadian times, and were deemed al all times to be “secrets of the gods” not to be revealed to the uninitiated, and because to the link to DNA, we believe that numerical codes are the secret code!

“…In fact, one of the most obvious (and thus, as in detective tales, the most ignored) clues is the very term for “book,” SeFeR in Hebrew. Stemming from the root SFR, its derivations were the words for writer/scribe (Sofer), to tell (Lesapher), a tale or a story (Sippur), and so on.

“…But the very same root SFR also denoted everything connected with numbers! To count was Lisfor, numeral is Sifrah, number is Mispar, counting is Sephira. In other words, from the very moment that the three-letter root words of the Hebrew emerged, to write with letters and to count with numbers were considered one and the same.

“…As times became more turbulent in Judea, with one revolt (that of the Maccabees against Greek rule) followed by another (against Roman oppression), the search for messages of hope – Messianic bodings – intensified. The scanning of earlier texts for coded numbers evolved into the use of numbers as secret codes. One of the most enigmatic and best encrypted instances found its way into the New Testament:

The number of a “beast” encoded as “666” in the Book of Revelation,

Here is Wisdom;
Let him that hath Understanding
count the number of the beast,
for it is the Number of a Man;
And his number is six hundred and three score and six.

Revelation 13:18


“…The passage deals with Messianic expectations, the downfall of evil, and in its aftermath a Second Coming, the return of the Kingdom of heaven to Earth.

“…Countless attempts have been made over the millennia to decipher the numerical code of “666” and thus understand the prophecy. The number clearly appears in the early (Greek) manuscript of the book whose full title is The Gospel According to St. John, which begins with the statement “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” and which is filled with numerical references. Using the numerical values of the Greek letters (which follow closely the Hebrew arrangement) and the methods of Gematria, it has been suggested that the “beast” was the evil Roman empire because the numerical value of LATEINOS was 666. Others have suggested that the numerical code meant the evil emperor himself (Trajan) whose middle name, ULPIOS, also added up numerically rendered to 666. Still another suggestion was that the code was in Hebrew, standing for Neron Qesar (“Nero the Emperor”), whose Hebrew spelling N-R-W-N + Q-S-R also added up to 666; and so on, in a variety of Gematria approaches both using straight addition as well as triangulation.

“…The possibility that the encoded secret of “666” uncovered in Hebrew rather than Greek or Roman word meanings might well be the key to finally resolving the enigma. We find that 660 in Hebrew is the numerical equivalent of SeTeR – a hidden thing, an occult mystery; it was employed in the Bible in connection with divine Wisdom and Understanding that were hidden and occulted from Man. To make 666, the letter Wav (= 6) has to be added, changing the meaning from a “secret” to “his secret,” SiTRO, “his hidden thing.” Some find this rendition of “his secret” to describe a “watery darkness” where the Celestial Battle with Tiamat is recalled:

The Earth shook and trembled,
the foundations of the hills were shaken . . .
There went up smoke from his nostrils,
a devouring fire out of his mouth . . .
He made darkness his secret,
by a watery darkness and celestial clouds covered.

Psalms 18:8-12


“…There are repeated references in the Bible to that Celestial Battle, which in the Mesopotamian Epic of Creation took place between Nibiru/Marduk and Tiamat, and in the Bible between Yahweh as the Primeval Creator and Tehom, a “watery deep.” Tehom/Tiamat was sometimes spoken of as Rahab, the “haughty one,” or rendered with an inversion of letters RaBaH (“the great one”) instead of RaHaB. The wording in Psalm 18 echoes a much earlier statement in Deuteronomy 29:19, in which the judgments of Yahweh “on the last generation” are prophesied as a time when “smoke shall go up from the nostrils” of God. That time of final accounting is often referred to in the Bible by the adverb Az – “then,” at that particular future time.

“…If the author of Revelation, as is evident, also had in mind that Az, that “then” at the time of the Last Generation, when the Lord shall reappear as He had when Heaven and Earth were created at the time of the battle with Tehom Rabah ( a term used in communication in Amos 7:4, Psalms 36:7, Isaiah 5:10), then a numerical approach to the enigma of the “666” would suggest that the book of Revelation was speaking of the Return of the Celestial Lord in a reenactment of the Celestial Battle; for the sum total of the numerical value of Az + Tehom + Rabah is 666.

“…Such language/letter/number transfigurations reinforce the question (and the possibility) – and not only in regard to the reason for “666” – of whether the codes might have included allusions to other deities of pantheons known in antiquity.

“…An approach that accepts the possibility that the Old Testament as well as the New Testament borrowed for their encodings from earlier Mesopotamian secret writings and divine rankings leads to another possible solution of the “666” enigma.

“…One of the rare (discovered) instances where the number “6” was revealed as a divine rank was in a tablet that was put together by Alasdair Livingstone in Mystical and Mythological Explanatory Works of Assyrian and Babylonian Scholars. The reconstructed tablet – which bears the admonition regarding the undisclosable secrets it contains – begins with 60 as the rank of “the preeminent god, father of the gods” and then, in a separate column, reveals his identity: Anu. Followed by Enlil (50), Ea/Enki (40), Sin (30) and Shamash (20), it lists Adad, the “god of rain and thunders” as “6.” As the listing continues on the obverse as well as the reverse sides, it lists “600” as the secret number of the Anunnaki.

“…What emerges from that Mesopotamian tablet regarding the secret numbers of the gods may well have the key to finally solving the mystery of “666” by looking at it as a Sumerian-based encoding:

600 = The Anunnaki, “Those Who From Heaven to Earth Came”
60 = Anu, their supreme ruler
6 = Adad, one of the gods who teaches initiates
666 = “Here is Wisdom,” “Counted by him who has Understanding”


“…While attention has been focused on the meaning of “666,” we find in the cryptic verse in Revelation a statement of utmost significance. The secret code, it states, is what Wisdom is all about, and it can be deciphered only by those who have Understanding.

“…These are precisely the two terms used by the Sumerians, and those who came after them, to denote the secret knowledge that only privileged initiates had been taught by the Anunnaki.

“…In considering numerical and counting systems, the decimal system (“base ten”) is the most obviously “manfriendly,” resulting from counting on the fingers of our hands… But from where did the Sumerians take the sexagesimal (“base 60”) system whose lasting expression is still extant in time reckoning (60 minutes, 60 seconds), astronomy (a celestial circle of 360 degrees), and geometry?

“…In our book When Time Began we have suggested that the Anunnaki, coming from a planet whose orbital period (one year on Nibiru) equaled 3,600 orbits of the planet Earth, needed some kind of a common denominator for such diverse periods – and have found one in the phenomenon of Precession (which only they, not men with the shorter life spans dictated by Earth’s cycles, could have discovered). When they divided the celestial circle into twelve parts, the precessional retardation – that could be easily observed by them – was 2,160 years per “house.” That, we have suggested, led to the ratio of 3,600:2,160 or 10:6 (the eventual Golden Ratio of the Greeks), and to the sexagesimal system that ran 6 x 10 x 6 x 10 and so on (resulting in 60, 360, 3600 and so on to the immense number 12,960,000 [the complete circling of the twelve houses of the zodiac has been named a Great Year, the astronomical number 12,960,000 represented 500 of such Great Years).

“…In this system, several numbers of celestial or sacred import seem to be out of place. One is the number seven… the seventh or Sabbath day… the Seven Who Judge… the Seven Sages… the Seven Gates of the Lower World… the Seven Tablets of Enuma Elish … “Enlil is Seven”… the planetary number of Earth…

“…The number “7” is a key number in Revelation (7 angels, 7 seals, and so on); so was the next extraordinary number – 12 – or multiples thereof, 144,000 in Revelation 7:3-5, 14:1 etc. We have already recounted its applications and its significance, as stemming from the number of the members of our Solar System (Sun, Moon, and 10 planets – the 9 we know of plus Nibiru).

“…And then – hardly realized – was the peculiar number 72.

“…We have already observed that the mystics of the Kaballah arrived through Gematria methods at the number 72 as the numerical secret of Yahweh (Mr. Sitchin has explained this from the Book of Exodus as Moses was summoned to the Holy Mount…)

“…Of all places we also find this odd number 72 in the Egyptian tale of dealing with the contending of Horus and Seth… that when Seth tricked Osiris into the doomed chest, he did so in the presence of 72 “divine comrades.”

“Why then 72 in these various instances? The only plausible answer, we believe, is to be found in the phenomenon of Precession, for it is there that the crucial number 72 is to be found, as the number of years it takes to retard the Earth by one degree.

“…To this day it is not certain how the concept of a Jubilee had come about, the 50-year period decreed in the Bible and used as the time unit in the Book of Jubilees. Here is the answer: to the Anunnaki, whose one orbit around the Sun equaled 3,600 Earth years, the orbit passed through 50 precessional degrees (50 x 72 = 3,600)!

“…Enlil’s secret rank number – and the number sought by Marduk – was also 50.

“…The Sumerian King List asserts that 432,000 years (120 orbits of Nibiru) had passed from the arrival of the Anunnaki on Earth until the Deluge. The number 432,000 is also key in the Hindu and other concepts of Ages and the periodic catastrophies that befall Earth.

“…The number 432,000 also embraces 72 precisely 6,000 times. And it is perhaps worth keeping in mind that according to Jewish sages the count of years in the Jewish calendar – 5,758 in A.D. 1998 – will come to a completion, a terminus, when it reaches 6,000; it is then that it will all come full cycle.

“…If there was once a single universal language on Earth (as the Sumerian texts and the Bible assert), it had to be mathematically based; and if – or rather, when – we communicate with extraterrestrials, as had once been done with the Anunnaki on their visits here, and we shall do when we venture into space – the cosmic language will be one of numbers.

“…And if one takes seriously the Sumerian and biblical statements about inclusion of medical knowledge in the Knowledge and Understanding passed on to us – is there somewhere in all the ancient texts, so meticulously copied with precision because they had been “canonized,” the key to sharing with us the genetic knowledge that went into our creation, and thus still accompanies us in health and in sickness and in death?

“…We have reached the point where our scientists have identified a specific gene – calling it, say, P51 – at a specific site on chromosome number 1 or 13 or 22, that is responsible for a trait of malady. It is a gene and a location that can be expressed on computers – now as numbers, or wholly in letters, or in combination thereof.

“…Is there already in those ancient texts, and especially the Hebrew Bible, such coded genetic information? If we could only decipher such a code, we could become beings like the “Perfect Model” that Enki and Ninharsag had intended to create.

Continue to Chapter 9: Prophecy: Writings from the Past